Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Why is it the Best Cooking Oil?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Why is it the Best Cooking Oil?

By Silky Mahajan  on: 06 October 2016
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With the new fad to eat fat free foods and remain healthy, the intent is to completely avoid fat. However, it is to be noted that fat is essential for various normal body functions, starting from proper brain functioning to hormone formation. What needs to be avoided is the unhealthy bad fat. Fat contains fatty acids, which are of two types-saturated and unsaturated. When heated, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) react with the oxygen in the environment and get damaged. These are to be avoided. The saturated fatty acids are relatively strong and do not oxidize or create damage. So, the next time you pick up oils, this is what you need to look at.

The good thing about olive oils is that it mostly contains mono saturated fatty acids (MSFA), which does not oxidize even at high temperatures (almost 180 degree Celsius).Another study showed that with deep frying using olive oil, it takes about 25 hours to produce the same damage as other cooking oils. Olive oil is produced by crushing olives. It can be refined or unrefined based on the amount of free oleic acid (lesser in the unrefined version).The unrefined form is the purer form, which is also known as extra-virgin olive oil. It has the aroma and flavor of olives and characteristic bitter taste.

What it contains: A can of 100 g of olive oil contains the following. Note the high content of monosaturated fat is present, which is highly healthy.

Monounsaturated Fat: About 70%
Saturated fat:About 13%
Omega-6:About 10%
Omega-3:About 1%
Vitamin E:72% of the RDA.
Vitamin K:75% of the RDA.

Some of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are listed below:

Anti-inflammatory: Heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's are all chronic inflammatory conditions and using olive oil for prolonged periods can reduce the onset and severity of these conditions. The oleic acid acts against the C-reactive protein responsible for spreading inflammation.
Antioxidants: The ingredients in olive oil including the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal and oleuropein are known for their antioxidant properties.The latter is what prevents oxidation of olive oil when heated. These have powerful health benefits and can help fight severe diseases.
Cardio-friendly: There are various ways in which olive oil helps the heart, some of them being reduced inflammation, preventing blood clotting, lowering blood pressure, improving blood vessel lining, and improves LDL levels.
Cancer: With its oxidative properties, it reduces the amount of free radicals in the body, thereby reducing cancer.
Brain function: Olive oil also reduces cognitive functioning and reduces formation of beta amyloid which is seen in Alzheimer's disease.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil and they have inherited these health benefits over centuries.

In case of any query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us a mail at [email protected] OR call us at 080 6741 7780 (Dial Extension: 778)


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An author of 'Nutrition for Sportspersons' book (published by Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports, Government of Karnataka), Silky Mahajan is a highly acclaimed name in the list of top Nutritionists in India. She is the Founder & Nutrition Expert at Foods & Nutrition Clinic, Bangalore. An award-winning nutritionist, she changes the way you eat forever with her acute understanding of nutrition and its significance in the diet. She has a Masters degree in Foods & Nutrition from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Also, she is Certified Sports Nutritionist from International Sports Science Association, USA. Silky also got trained in the field of Nutrition from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chandigarh and Fortis Escort Hospital. She is holding Certified Diabetes Educator certification from International Hope Health Academy (IDEEL) in order to have the vast knowledge of Diabetes/Insulin response in athletes. Also, she is an active member of Indian Dietetics Association (IDA).Her profound knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics has made her the youngest most Nutritionists in the country. In an extremely short span of time, she has dealt with athletes globally, both elite players who have participated in top International Championships as well as young budding athletes with a promising future. She believes that all the joy of life comes from the right food you eat- in right amounts and, at the right time. She has acquired wide experience working with Fortis Hospital, Alere Medicals, Sports Academies, and many other reputed MNCs that have led her to become one of the country's pre-eminent nutrition experts working towards proper nutrition therapy for society to lead a healthier lifestyle. She is one of the very few certified sports nutritionists in India offering services to NGOs as well. As a prolific author, Silky Mahajan's columns appear in leading newspapers, sports/fitness magazines, social networking websites, and other online platforms.  She has also participated in many panel discussions on nutrition in FM Radios, corporate houses, sports academies, schools, and colleges.Silky has been practicing Nutrition for more than seven years in the field of sports as well as clinical nutrition. As part of sports nutrition, she covers most sports nutrition sub-specialties like carbohydrate loading, hydration strategy, energy & endurance, muscle building, insulin management, optimize performance and sports nutritional deficiency. As part of clinical nutrition, she covers Human nutrition (Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood & Older Adulthood), Weight Management, Medical Nutrition Therapy (e.g. Diabetes, Hypertension, Eating disorders, Thyroid, PCOS) as well as corporate nutrition classes.
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